Being cooped up in a home or building with offensive smells can wreak havoc on your nose, whether it’s the scent of spilled food from the employee break room or chemical odors wafting from a warehouse. An overpowering odor not only can be extremely distracting, it may cause some employees and visitors to become nauseous.
A challenge in eliminating odors from a home or business is the difficulty in pinpointing the exact source of the stench. Commercial deodorizers and air fresheners can help make the environment more bearable, but fragrances only mask the problem. For your home or facility to be healthy as well as smell clean and fresh, it is essential that the odor be removed. This means finding the primary source of the odor and thoroughly cleaning it. As the odor may have seeped into other areas of the building, you should thoroughly clean the entire facility, especially the areas closest to the source of the smell.
Here are some cleaning tips that will help you eliminate odors instead of simply covering them up.
Wash Away Odors
Use your nose to determine where the odor is coming from. Once you locate the source of the smell, clean the area with hot, soapy water and an antibacterial cleaner or detergent, such as liquid dish soap. Next, fill a bowl with ½-cup of white vinegar and ½-cup of water, and apply it to the area you just cleaned using a clean, soft cloth.
If you want a light fragrance add a few drops of essential oil to the water and vinegar mix. The oils will smell especially good when added to a clean environment instead of being used to cover an odor.
Remove the Source of the Smell
No matter how many times you clean, your facility will continue to have an odor problem if you don’t eliminate the source of the smell. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are trying to combat unwanted smells:
- Regardless of the smell you are dealing with, fresh air will help to improve the situation as it circulates through the building. Open windows when possible and allow nature take care of some of the work for you.
- Respond as quickly as possible to general odors. The longer you wait to deal with the odor, the more difficult it will be to remove. Wash the affected area right away with warm, soapy water. Using an antibacterial soap will help to eliminate any bacteria that may be causing the odor. After cleaning, apply white vinegar mixed with water to disinfect the area completely. This will help prevent the smells from returning.
- Regular vacuuming should be a general approach to cleaning as it can help neutralize odors that have become absorbed into the carpeting. It's important to routinely vacuum and clean all rugs that are placed inside the building entrance as well. Be sure to frequently change the vacuum bag or empty the canister, because these can also produce a smell, especially if you have used the vacuum to clean up an area that is a source of odors.
- Smoke odor is extremely difficult to eliminate, especially without the use of commercial products and a professional cleaning service. Sometimes the only way to completely get rid of a smoke smell is to hand-wash the floors and walls in all areas that the smoke has come in contact with. If you choose to clean smoke odors on your own, it is important to wear a mask and use an antibacterial cleaner, prior to wiping the area down with vinegar.
- Baking soda is an inexpensive and extremely effective form of odor control. Sprinkle it on carpeting and allow it to sit for a few hours before vacuuming; it will pick up a lot of the unwanted smells.
If you have made numerous attempts to remove odors without any success, it may be best to contact a professional cleaning company. A professional company will typically have the resources to locate the source of the odor and completely remove it, as well sanitize your building, leaving it with a fresh, clean scent.